November 4, 2016
If you didn’t notice the http://washington.cbslocal.com/2016/10/16/its-official-redskins-rule-predicts-clinton-victory/">Washington Redskins’ 27-20 home victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, you’re excused. But why would a game played on Oct. 16 matter to you or me or the entire country right now?
The reason why the Washington win matters is become this is an election year. That means http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2016/10/16/13298138/redskins-rule-election-2016-donald-trump-hillary-clinton">the “Redskin Rule” is now in effect.
Those who don’t know what the rule is, or means, it is fairly simple: If Washington wins its final home game before the election, the party that won the last election will win this year and stay in the White House, and if Washington loses, the party that lost the election will win and take the presidency.
Sounds crazy, right? But this totally unscientific method has a http://www.aol.com/article/sports/2016/10/17/nfl-football-game-may-have-just-predicted-the-next-president/21584385/">surprisingly high accuracy rate.
Since the Redskins relocated to Washington in 1937, the country has had 19 presidential elections, not counting this year, and this rule has been correct on 17 of those races. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2016/10/20/redskins-rule-used-to-predict-elections-but-the-guy-who-discovered-it-now-says-its-a-crock/">Elias Sports Bureau Executive Vice President Steve Hirdt discovered the rule just eight days before the 2000 election.
Hirdt was looking for some interesting election factoids for ABC’s broadcast of the Washington Redskins against Tennessee Titans game and saw that the rule had worked perfectly for every election since 1940.
The first instance of the rule was Washington 37-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, which meant that Franklin Roosevelt won the election over Wendell Willkie. Four years later, the rule held up again when Roosevelt beat Thomas Dewey in 1944, and the Redskins won 14-10 over the Cleveland Rams.
This rule kept right on working all the way up until the 2000 election. It didn’t work out in the 2004 election when Washington lost 28-14 to the Green Bay Packers.
Under the rule, George W. Bush should have lost to John Kerry. Bush won the election, and the rule failed for the first time. Hirdt revised the rule (Redskin Rule 2.0) and said that if the party wins the election but not the popular vote, the rule gets flipped the next election.
The rule held up perfectly in 2008 when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat Washington 23-6, and Barack Obama beat John McCain.
It wasn’t until the http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Clinton-Will-Win-Election-According-to-Redskins-Rule-397314471.html">2012 election that the rule failed under the original and 2.0 rules. The Carolina Panthers won 21-13 over Washington, and Obama should have lost to Mitt Romney.
He easily won re-election, but Hirdt amended the rule again. The https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2016/10/20/redskins-rule-used-to-predict-elections-but-the-guy-who-discovered-it-now-says-its-a-crock/">3.0 version of the Redskins Rule states that when the incumbent is being challenged from someone from Massachusetts, the incumbent will win.
That explains both Kerry and Romney’s losses. The Redskins started as a franchise in Massachusetts and played in Boston from 1932 until 1936.
In the 1932 election, the team currently in Washington was known as the Boston Braves. That election saw the Braves win 19-6 over the Staten Island Stapletons. Roosevelt beat incumbent Herbert Hoover.
The team was using current nickname Redskins in the 1936 election, that year Boston won 13-10 over the Chicago Cardinals. Some take the 1936 election into the rule results since that was when the club first used the nickname.
So, what does that seven-point win by Washington over Philadelphia mean? If the rule holds up, it means Hillary Clinton will win the election.
Anyone hoping for a Donald Trump victory will need the rule to fail for the third time in the last five elections. Both sides can watch election night pulling for or against the rule in hopes their candidate wins.